What do you call yourself? I mean, are you a web designer or a web developer? Or are you the kind of person who’s somehow stuck in the middle?
The confusion between these jobs is understandable because there are so many different titles. So, how do we know which is which and where we fit in? Let’s take a look:
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- Web Designer
- UI/UX Designer
- Art Director
- Web Developer
- Web Content Strategist
- Information Technician
- Product Manager
- Customer Service Representative
- SEO Specialist
As the name suggests, a web designer’s main job is to design. Taking literally, this job focuses on the ‘look’ of the whole website. We can consider them as the architects of the Web. Web designers should be masters of the visual arts.
What Web Designers Do:
- They plan for the over-all look of the website, including considering the costs of actually developing it.
- They should be able to create a look and feel that catches the viewer’s attention to keep them glued to the screen.
What Skills Web Designers Should Have:
- They should be competent in color scheming, graphic design and information flow.
There is an ongoing debate if web designers should learn how to code or not. This talk has been prevailing around web design and development forums for over a long time now. However, there is really no definite answer for that right now.
In my opinion, they should learn how to code. It lessens the burden of hiring another person to write the code and consider the feasibility of the design. But then again, there’s no telling which is correct or not.
UI designers are responsible for creating unforgettable user experiences. Using their keen observation of trends and eye for creative and totally neat designs, they make your browsing experience a once-in-a lifetime opportunity.
What UI/UX Designers Do:
- They collaborate with product managers and engineers to orient themselves in the themes of the design.
- They execute the plans from conceptualization to actual development. This, of course, will include wire-frame creation, storyboarding, among other things, so to facilitate communication and interaction between the design and the user.
What Skills UI/UX Designers Should Have:
- They should have broad experience in the design process (that includes manipulation of Photoshop, Illustrator and other products).
- They need skills to code (told you, learning the basic is important for fast prototyping).
Portfolios are important for the designers for this will show the designers’ design style and skills. If you are interested being a UI/UX designer, better get it started.
Art directors or design directors take designing into an administrative level. They are supervisors of the workflow. They head a team of designers.
What Art Directors Do:
- They are responsible for coordinating with the client and supervising the design process.
- They update the clients from time to time regarding the progress of the work.
- They check the quality and uniformity of the design.
What Skills Art Directors Should Have:
- They need to have an excellent taste of design.
- They must have the ability to create designs in minimal supervision.
- They must have an excellent grasp of the technologies used in designing.
- They should have the skills needed to fully utilize the talents of the team and transform them into outstanding results.
If web designers are the white-collared architects of the Web industry, we have the developers as the ever-hardworking blue-collar builders. Web development can be considered the building industry of the web. Without web developers, the design will just remain in plans, or in the Web industry, PSDs/mock-ups. They use a lot of tools in producing an optimized and interactive website.
What Web Developers Do:
- They are responsible for the production, modification and maintenance of the website and its user interface.
- They work with designers in making semantic mark-up languages like XHMTL/CSS, and turning their static PSDs to working browser pages.
- They implement server-side codes to develop a complex and interactive website.
What Skills Web Developers Should Have:
- They should be experienced in programming languages like PHP, ASP, Ruby, Phyton, HTML/CSS and more.
Web Content Strategist
Of course, the website won’t just purely be designs. It needs content and this is where web content strategists come into play.
What Web Content Strategists Do:
- These guys are responsible for planning, developing and managing information placed in the website.
What Skills Web Content Strategists Should Have:
- Being in-charge of the content of the website, web content strategists should have great command of the English language.
- They should have ample amount of knowledge in copywriting and audience experience.
Just because information technicians deal with hardware doesn’t mean that they can’t be considered having a web-related job. Truth is, without these guys, the web won’t probably run as smoothly as it does right now.
What Information Technicians Do:
- They are responsible for hardware and software maintenance.
- Training, consultation and recommendation about future planning and development of resources are also part of the job description of the information technician.
- They are the point person when it comes to ensuring that technology is accessible and equipped with the up-to-date hardware and software.
- They are also called in to perform troubleshooting in hardware, software and networks.
In short, information technicians tend to the basic needs of the computers and networks per se.
I have mentioned the role of the art director. Well, art directors have bosses too, and they are called product managers.
What Project Managers Do:
- They ensure that every facet of the project is well-tended.
- They deal with clients, art directors and lead developers and steers the whole project into the projected results.
What Skills Project Managers Should Have:
- They should have great multi-tasking skills.
- They know how to take charge.
- They know how to communicate effectively with clients and the developers too.
Customer Service Representative
As every product or web service is not flawless, it is a must to have some people who are alerted if these flaws reach the customer.
What Customer Sales Representatives Do:
- They make sure that each client meets what they want.
- They help the client or tell the developers to solve problems met by the customers.
- Their main job is to talk to people and help them solve problems from navigation to unruly website bugs.
What Skills Customer Sales Representatives Should Have:
- They need to have a clear grasp of the product or service being offered.
- They can easily make the regular customer understand what they are trying to ask that customer to do.
Search Engine Optimization specialists work with copywriters (sometimes, copywriters are also SEO specialists).
What SEO Specialists Do:
- They develop the website’s visibility on the Internet by continually trying to improve the website’s ranks in the search engines.
- They are also responsible for maximizing the traffic a website gets through the addition of keywords.
What Skills SEO Specialists Should Have:
- Basically, when you speak of SEO specialists, they are the common people who makes a living out of understanding what Google, Yahoo Search, or Bing wants.
So there you have it guys, these are some of the many web design job titles that we commonly encounter. Now, knowing the different job titles, are you now aware of what you will be called? Well then, if you are, you may now start adding the title in your business card. Flaunt that name, but flaunt your work more.